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Plain sailing for November registration exam after ‘considerable changes’

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has reported ‘no major issues’ following its November registration assessment, after it made “considerable changes” to the way the online exam was run.

A total of 941 candidates sat the exam, which took place yesterday in assessment centres across the UK, the regulator announced today (November 4).

The exam was held jointly by the GPhC and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Candidates across the 68 test centres “started both papers as expected”, the GPhC stated.

Read more: 'People’s lives have been affected': Trainees on the impact of GPhC exam chaos

“Individual candidates” did experience some “incidents”, the regulator said.

These have “been logged and reported by the invigilators and will be carefully reviewed by the assessment team and the board of assessors as appropriate”.

It was not able to provide any details on what those issues where or how many candidates were affected.


Major changes made after June chaos


The GPhC implemented “considerable changes” to make sure the November registration exam went off without a hitch, it said.

It follows a chaotic June assessment, when candidates experienced delays, IT glitches and made allegations that some trainees cheated.

The changes included stationing a GPhC or PSNI representative at every test centre the day before and on the day of the assessment, and ensuring each centre “was a permanent venue, with computer equipment already in place”.

Read more: Five things the GPhC is doing to prevent registration exam chaos in November

The regulator also tested out IT, provided “enhanced” IT support during the exam, and carried out “enhanced invigilator training” after June candidates complained that some invigilators were “clueless”.

In August, the GPhC and exam provider BTL met for a two-day meeting to plan what measures could be put in place to ensure the assessment went smoothly.

The June assessment chaos led candidates to stage a historic protest outside the GPhC’s Canary Wharf offices in July.

Read more: ‘This will go down in history’: Five takeaways from the GPhC exam protest

The regulator agreed to two of the protesters’ requests, granted provisional registration to candidates experiencing more than 30 minutes' delay in sitting the exam, and set out which candidates would be eligible to appeal their results.

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